We're looking at using http://www.pardot.com/ to track certain links/buttons on our website. We can give users extra "points" for clicking those elements. A way to grade potential leads. In order to do this with Pardot, they say that a redirect has to be placed on the element's link.

After the redirect is made in the Pardot Admin, you're given a new URL to place on your website to replace the existing outbound link. When a user clicks the button with the new Pardot link, they're "redirected" without knowing they were. In other words, if the original button link took users to example.com, the new link also does too, even though it's a redirect.

This would be fine, but I'm thinking of SEO. Search bots will try and follow one of these links and just be presented with a 301 redirect, and stop there, right?

We link out to our store (which is on a subdomain) quite frequently, and this would be bad news, because we obviously need the backlinks indexed by search engines.

  • pardot uses 301. you should be alright. best to use no redirects but you'll only be dinged a fraction.
    – Matt Rigg
    Jan 8, 2019 at 22:39

2 Answers 2


Click tracking redirects are fine for SEO as long as they are the "301 permanent" variety. Other types of redirects are not great for SEO:

  • 302 Temporary redirects
  • Meta refresh
  • JavaScript redirects
  • Framed redirects

I was unable to find documentation about which type Pardot uses. You can test it using a tool like curl:

$ curl --head http://www.webmasters.stackexchange.com/
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2016 18:31:46 GMT
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Content-Length: 159
Connection: keep-alive
Set-Cookie: __cfduid=dad3d5b996227949ca485b82bd87b86dc1453919506; expires=Thu, 26-Jan-17 18:31:46 GMT; path=/; domain=.stackexchange.com; HttpOnly
Location: http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/
Set-Cookie: prov=c825d760-a3e6-4e18-83c5-d9c0c34b15ca; expires=Fri, 01-Jan-2048 00:00:00 GMT; path=/; domain=.stackexchange.com; HttpOnly
Server: cloudflare-nginx
CF-RAY: 26b6895667a702b8-IAD

If the first line of the HTTP response is HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently, and the headers contain the line with Location: followed by the final URL, then the redirect is of the correct type.


I was recently looking at a similar use of client side redirects. I've used Pardot before for tracking and I'm quite certain that a Pardot redirect uses a meta refresh redirect. Using this type of redirect may have negative SEO effects. I'm not completely sure to what extent (I haven't done testing and could not find any cases when I looked).

  • With meta refresh you can see the url changing and he says that the url stays the same, do you think that at some point you've seen the url changing? And is there a chance Pardot reworked their system so it use 301 redirects instead of meta-refresh
    – knif3r
    Feb 26, 2016 at 19:51

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